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Sharpsburg parish youth group to throw Christmas party

Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Joseph (played by Terry Whitehead) and Mary (played by Sophia Varvaro) hold the baby Jesus as they rehearse their parts for the upcoming pageant at St. John Paul Center in Sharpsburg.

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Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Members of the St. Juan Diego Youth Group are throwing a party in Sharpsburg, and the whole town is invited.

“When we look at Christmas, we want to say it's about the birth of Jesus,” said Director Tom Troyan. “So we're having a party.”

The festivities will start at 7 p.m. Dec. 21 at the John Paul I Pastoral Center on Ninth Street.

Troyan is asking guests of the free event to bring a new baby item to donate to Catholic Charities.

“I wanted to combine the show with some ministry this year,” he said. “I want to show the kids that they can be helping others.”

Complete with a cake and song, the party runs in conjunction with the group's annual Christmas pageant, where members present the story of Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem.

“We still want to do our play and act out the story of the manger, but we want people to think about the divine side too,” Troyan said.

About 12 members of the youth group will act out the story of Jesus' birth.

Troyan and his students have been sacrificing Sunday afternoons to learn the script and rehearse each scene.

Sophia Varvaro of Sharpsburg will portray Mary.

“It's exciting and fun but I take it seriously,” she said during a rehearsal at the church hall.

Troyan said this year's play will be done in short sketches, with two students narrating each scene.

“The one doesn't believe and there's a dialogue to show him about the three kings and the gifts,” he said.

“By the end, we want to show that it's a matter of believing.

“In turn, we want to bring gifts and have someone less fortunate benefit from it.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at

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